Settlement spillover 

The Orlando Sentinel recently settled a lawsuit with its neighbors over the paper's past contamination of downtown property. But with testimony in the suit pointing to a chemical solvent dumped at two other sites [Poison Pens?, Feb. 25], the state has now asked the Sentinel to sit down and review its responsibility in one of those cases, as well.

"It is always more beneficial, economically and environmentally, to practice pollution prevention rather than incur drastic groundwater cleanup expenses," says a letter to publisher John Puerner from Vivian Garfein, district director for the state Department of Environmental Protection. "Before the Department proceeds further, we would invite the Sentinel to voluntarily undertake an investigation ... and initiate the proper disposal of any drums containing TCE."

Garfein referred to a former private landfill in Altamonte Springs -- and notes the state and Sentinel discussed concerns about that site as far back as the late '70s. (The other site is a former Orange County landfill on Good Homes Road, at which the state wants to begin ground-water monitoring to test for contamination.) While the Sentinel is willing to meet on the matter, attorney Robert Rhodes replied to Garfein, it "should not be construed as an admission of liability."

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